Inspired by her 5-year-old daughter Brooklyn, I sat down with Jasmine to learn about her journey into entrepreneurship.
What’s your background and how would you describe what you do? Tell us your story.
I am Jasmine Matheney a self-proclaimed beauty pioneer that is changing the standards of beauty with my handcrafted Body Butters. My story is really no different from a lot of people who I know. I’m a full-time mother, full-time government employee, and full-time entrepreneur & creator of Brooklyn Body Butter.
For people who do not know, Brooklyn Body Butter is an all natural product made up of ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil, and grape seed oil. Brooklyn Body Butter can be used as a replacement to your typical everyday lotion. The reason that I say my story is no different from a lot of people who I know is because truly it isn’t. When I decided to start my business I was coming into a new season of life. I was working two jobs, unhappy, bored and I didn’t want my frustrations with my situation to get the best of me.
Often times we compare our lives to others unknowingly of the troubles and struggles that face and are facing. But I will be the first one to tell you.; it has not been a walk in the park for me thus far. I don’t have a fancy background. I’m the same woman that’s been attending community colleges for the last 10 years still trying to get my associate degree, I still cry when someone hurts my feelings, and I work my ass off wholeheartedly to reap the benefits that I have worked for. My story is being written everyday in this particular chapter of my story we could call it insane, rewarding, and fulfilling.
You’re currently growing your business while still working a 9-5, how do you balance your everyday work life, motherhood & Brooklyn Body Butter?
Learning balance has been my greatest test this last year. It is extremely hard but it is doable and manageable. Creating a written to-do list is a major key for my everyday work life. Phones are awesome to keep track of task but the best method is writing it down on an actual piece of paper. I write down everything that it is that I need to do.
Another way that I balance is through the support of my family and friends. I have a tremendous support system. I depend on my parents a lot they are the foundation that keeps me together. If it wasn’t for the two of them I would have lost it all by now. If you have people who are willing to help you be thankful and appreciative. A lot of people complain about people not supporting them yet they neglect the ones that are.
Being a mother happens so natural for me now, when I first had my daughter I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I wanted to do everything perfect for my daughter. But who’s life is perfect? Nobody! So I’ve been rolling with the punches for the last 5 years when it comes to motherhood. Anyone that is a mother knows that no two days are the same. The hardest thing about motherhood is that my daughter is a night owl and I am too.
While I’m up working at 2-3am on Brooklyn Body Butter she’s right there with me. I’m always telling her “Brooklyn, go get in the bed!”. Majority of the time she has a pillow and blanket and is literally right there next to me while I’m working late nights. Our late nights make it really hard for our early mornings. If I’m up until to 3 am then I’m usually back up at 7 am getting ready for work. But that’s something that we are trying to balance and work out now.
What do you think made your brand grow in popularity in such a short time?
I feel like my brand has grown in popularity in such short time due to the unique characteristics. I think Brooklyn Body Butter is a catchy name, the colors are fun, the scents in my opinion are amazing, being creative with photo shoots and themes has helped, but the important thing has been creating a product that people have loved and actually need. I’m not the first person to create a body butter and I am certain that I will not be the last. But, I really enjoy the feedback that I receive about Brooklyn Body Butter.
Where does the inspiration from all of your scents stem from? Do they have a significant meaning or is it based off whatever comes to mind? What are some of your best-selling scents?
The inspiration from my scents come from familiar scents as a child or feel good memories. I love when people smell a scent and they associate it with a good memory. That is why I created a lot of my scents. My best-selling scent is Baby Powder Butter. It is originally one of the first scents that I created and it sells the most. Other popular scents are Almond Coconut Milk Butter, Strawberry Milkshake Butter, and Bliss Butter.
What was the most challenging time for your brand? Did you ever have to stop everything for a while or start over?
Everyday for me is a challenge. The most challenging time has been the start-up. Convincing people to try a product on their skin was not easy. I didn’t expect that to be easy either. It’s like please trust me if you don’t like it you don’t have to use it again. I really think that Brooklyn Body Butter is a small investment for a great return. Just recently I had to stop everything for a while. I kind of worked myself into this funk. I was just draining myself out big time not getting the proper rest, doing everything that people threw my way, and it literally made me crash.
I didn’t make butters for like three weeks and that was unusual for me. But I refuse to make body butters if I’m in a bad mood. My slogan is “Spread Love, The Brooklyn Way.” And I’m big on energy and vibes. Energy is contagious (good and bad) I was not going to make body butter and I wasn’t in the best mood spreading my bad vibes. I never want a bad vibe I’m carrying to come in contact with anybody. I like to stay to myself when I’m in a funk and when I’m ready I come back full throttle. I’m so glad I’m out of my funk. As far as starting over, I haven’t had a need to do that yet. However, I make changes as I go and based on feedback that I receive.
What void do you feel you’re fulfilling in the skin care industry?
The void that I’m fulfilling is a simple solution to some complex skin problems. My ingredients are easy to pronounce, they’re natural, they are simple. Brooklyn Body Butter is literally a head to toe body butter. You can use it from the top of your scalp to the bottom of your feet. It has provided relief for itchy scalp, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and many other skin conditions.
Tell us about a difficult time in your life that you overcame and explain how you did so.
A difficult time in my life was the decision to become a mother. I remember being like 23 pregnant, not where I thought I was supposed to be at in life and juggling the decision of having a baby. The most difficult thing that I did was walking into an abortion clinic at 4.5 months pregnant and saying “I’m here to have an abortion.” I sat in the clinic for hours and when they did my ultrasound I saw my baby on her stomach kicking.
I raised up and I looked at the sonographer and was like “is that my baby?” she goes “yes.” I immediately told her I was making a wrong decision by being there and I didn’t want to have the abortion. I remember going to sit down and talking to an intake worker who proceeded to tell me that if I wasn’t going to get the abortion then I needed to pay like $50.00 for the ultrasound. I remember with pride saying “OKAY that’s fine!” and I literally ran out of the office.
That was a difficult decision at that time because I didn’t know what the hell was next or what I was supposed to do. But, that day I made a promise to myself and my daughter that I would not let us down. She just turned 5 this year and she has been my right and left hand person.
We have literally been through it all together. I owe her a lot and I’m not talking about financially she really made me grow up. You never realize the sacrifices your parents make until you become a parent. I am so thankful I have her in my life and she always tells me that God picked her from the clouds especially for Mommy, she tells stories of how she was in heaven with God and the other children and the sun was shining in her eyes. My eyes well up with tears when she tells me that story of being in heaven with God, because for some reason I know it’s true.
Where would you like to see your brand in the next year? Tell us some of your short-term goals/aspirations.
In the next year I would like to partner with more local boutiques to sell my product in their stores, I would like to offer some small classes for young girls where they can come and make their own personal body butter, and I would like to open up a Brooklyn Body Butter warehouse so that I can move my business from out of my home and make home a home again lol.
What’s something about you that many people don’t know/can’t find out online?
I don’t have a favorite scent when it comes to Brooklyn Body Butter. I’m always asked this question. It’s so hard for me to decide. I use butters based on my mood. Depending on my mood for the day is the scent that I’ll use.
As you began to grow in popularity, did you have to change anything about yourself or your mindset to become successful?
Success is not always about money and I think a lot of people always associate success with how much money you’re making or made. Success to me has been about not giving up even on the days that I wanted to. For the most part I’ve always been one of those people who didn’t take anything for granted. I’ve always worked hard. I literally had a job since the age of 8. So I know with hard work comes results.
The biggest thing that I have changed is working smarter. In the beginning of starting my business I wanted to do every sip and shop and every Pop-Up shop that was presented to me. And I was thankful for every opportunity but I was exhausting myself. I finally learned to start declining events. But, I would always beat myself up about declining the events because I’m like well what if people think I’m acting funny now. Honestly, it’s a lot of work to be the maker, packager, shipper, and show up to events.
I was exhausting myself beyond belief. So with that being said I’ve definitely had to adjust my mindset and say “hey, you’re beating yourself down, slow down.” Being successful isn’t always about being on the go and always in grind mode. Your mind needs some time to regroup and rethink. What’s for you will always be for you!
What do you really want your supporters to take away from this interview?
The biggest thing that I want supporters to take from my interview is that anything is possible. As cliché as it sounds and we hear it all the time it is the truth. Look around you for a second. Everything around us once started out as a thought, that thought manifested into a thing. Be conscious of your thoughts, pay attention to the signs that are around you, and whatever you want go get it!